Dallas is the eighth largest city in the United States and the third largest in Texas. It is the economic center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and is the fastest growing city in the country. Dallas covers an area of three hundred and eighty-five square miles and has a population of almost one and a half
million residents. The city is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network as a Beta World City. The economy of the city is based upon several areas which include computer technology, commerce, transportation, banking, energy and telecommunications. Dallas is home to more Fortune 500 than any other city except for Houston and New York City.
Before the city of Dallas was founded it was inhabited by a Native American tribe called the Caddo. During the fifteenth century, it was claimed by Spain and eventually by the French. However, the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 placed the city within the possessions of Spain by maked the Red River the boundary line of New Spain. It would remain under Spanish control until Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1821 and the territory became part of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, the Republic of Texas ceded from Mexico and became an independent country. Three years later, the area og Dallas was surveyed by John Neely Bryan, who was looking for a good location to establish a trading post to service the needs of pioneers and Native Americans. After surveying the area, John Neely Bryan went back to his home in Arkansas. When he came back in 1841, he found that half of his customer base was gone. He then decided against the construction of a trading post and instead established a settlement. Three years later, J. P. Dumas surveyed the area and laid out a half mile
section of streets which were named Dallas after the 11th Vice President of the United States, George M. Dallas.
In 1856, the Sixth Texas Legislature granted Dallas a town charter and Samuel Pryor was elected as mayor. By 1860, the town’s population reached almost seven hundred residents and had an ethnically diverse population which included African American, German, Belgians, Swiss and French residents. Also during that year, the railroad had established several lines through the city. July of that year saw a fire break out in the city, an event which caused the destruction of most of the buildings in Dallas’ business district. It was presumed that the fire was started by slaves and as a result three slaves were lynched and other slaves residing in the city were whipped. The next year, Dallas voted in favor of secession from the Union, but the city saw very little action during the war. After the Civil War, Dallas struggled during the Reconstruction period. In June of 1865, Texan slaves were liberated and many chose Dallas as their home. As a result, some of the white population became fearful and by 1868, the Klu Klux Klan appeared in the city. In 1871, Dallas legally became a city.
Thanks in part to the building of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad line and the Texas and Pacific Railway Line, Dallas became a bustling center of commerce in the 1870s. With trains passing through the city, the population of Dallas doubled in less than one year. Buildings and business began to be built at a rapid pace and Dallas became the hub for raw materials such as cotton and grain. It was also during this time that the city experienced a shift as a farming center to an industrial city. By the year 1880, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad had made it to the city of Dallas and eight years later the first zoo in the state was established in the city. Industrialization of the city continued at a swift pace, and by the turn of the century it was the leader of industries such as the book, liquor and drug industry. Eventually, the city became a center for fashion retailing, the insurance industry and the banking industry.
While the rest of the country was languishing during the first year of the Great Depression, construction and business was flourishing in Dallas. This was due in part to oil being struck in the city in 1930 which started the Texas oil boom. Dallas would go on to become the financial center for the Texas and Oklahoma oil industries. The bubble burst in 1931 however, and overproduction in the city negatively affected its economy. At this time, more than eighteen thousand people in Dallas became unemployed. Production in the city would pick up again during World War II. During the war, Dallas was the manufacturing center for the military and produced military trucks and jeeps.
Today, Dallas is a popular tourist attraction with many sights and attractions to offer to visitors. A popular attraction in the city is the Dallas World Aquarium. The Dallas World Aquarium is home to several types marine animals which include fish, coral, jellyfish and sea anemones. There are also giant catfish, manatees and arapaima. The Dallas World Aquarium also houses a zoo which includes animals such as frogs, monkeys, bats and snakes. The aquarium features a twenty-two thousand gallon underwater tunnel, two gift shops and a restaurant. Another attraction in the city of Dallas is the Frontiers of Flight Museum. The Frontiers of Flight Museum was founded in 1988 and features a collection of aviation history artifacts and vehicles. Exhibits include two hundred World War II aircraft models and a World War I Sopwith Pup bi-plane.
Other attractions in the city include Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park, The Sixth Floor Museum, Reunion Tower Lookout, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Valley House Gallery, Dallas Theater Center, Nasher Sculpture Center, Medieval Times, Pioneer Plaza, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Old Red Courthouse, John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, Keller’s Drive-in, Crow Collection of Asian Art, African American Museum, Museum of Nature & Science, White Rock Lake Park, Majestic Theater, Texas School Book Depository, Meadows Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, The Women’s Museum, Highland Park Village, Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Millermore Mansion, Dallas Zoo, Dallas Farmer’s Market and Magnolia Theatre. Dallas also has a wonderful collection of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and fine hotels.